McInnis’ voice mail posted at site run by supporters of possible rival

A voice-mail message left by Scott McInnis to someone he hoped would support his bid for governor was posted on a Web site operated by two Front Range residents who are supporting McInnis’ likely intraparty rival, Josh Penry.

McInnis and Penry, both Grand Junction Republicans, have voiced interest in running against Democrat incumbent Gov. Bill Ritter.

A Front Range political watchdog group, Colorado Ethics Watch, said it was investigating the voice mail as a possible violation of campaign laws.

The Web site on which the voice mail was posted,, is owned by Todd Shepherd and Justin Longo, both of whom are listed on a Facebook page, “Draft Josh Penry for Colorado Governor.”

Penry, a state senator from Grand Junction, is the minority leader in the party and previously worked for McInnis in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.

Shepherd said he “absolutely cannot” discuss how he obtained the voice-mail message. has nothing to do with the Golden-based Independence Institute, where he is employed to research government misdeeds, Shepherd said.

“The site is wholly owned by me,” he said.

In some cases he cross-posts stories he writes on both sites, but there is no other connection, he said.

“As to whether there was an attachment to the Penry camp,” he said, “no one attacked Mr. McInnis worse than Mr. McInnis did.”

McInnis didn’t return a phone call, but Penry said in an e-mail that he’s been busy in the Senate.

“Scott’s clearly ramped up, which is his right,” Penry wrote. “I haven’t had much time or inclination to engage in the parlor game of who Scott’s calling, in the same way I haven’t spent any time thinking about this idea that we can both be governor for 16 years.” 

McInnis had floated the idea that by working together, he and Penry could each control the governor’s mansion for two four-year terms apiece.


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